Choose Your Own Adventure, or Take Control of Your Life For Once

Who remembers the original ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books? I read every copy from our school’s library, but admittedly, I had a love hate relationship with the whole premise. I would go through and rather than select one path, I would preview both to see which would allow me to continue on rather than die. Nothing bothered me more than untimely death, so I would ignore a bad choice and follow the choices that kept the story going. And I’m pretty sure I even read straight through a book once, against the instructions  just to see what all the choices were. Once I found some copies at our local library I tried to get my kids interested. “Look! Books I read back in the dark ages filled with old-fashioned drawings!” Or at least, I think that’s what they heard because I failed to ignite a spark.

But you understand the excitement that comes with ‘Choosing Your Own Adventure’ don’t you dear reader?! Your pulse has quickened at just the thought-admit it! So, just in case your library does not carry the original series, I’ve composed a CYOA blog post for today! Obviously, it won’t make sense if you just read it straight though. Start at the beginning, select a numbered paragraph and move forward, if you dare! But watch out for the Yeti!

You are a smart and beautiful woman chosen to raise five children, a terrier and an angry cat. It is a beautiful Friday in October. Your husband is out-of-town on a business trip. Your mission is to scour the house from top to bottom before he arrives home Sunday evening and grocery shop for the week and help complete your oldest child’s CCD diorama about the scourging at the pillar in time for her Sunday afternoon class.

While trying to throw together dinner for everyone Friday evening, you realize you’re out of milk and a couple other essentials.

If you run to the convenience store to just “pick up a few things for dinner”, continue to paragraph 2. 

If you decide to get everything you need at the store now to prevent another trip later, continue to paragraph 3. 

#2 In packing everyone up to go to the Quicky-Mart, you realize that child number five has pooped his pants, child number two has no clean shirt to wear and your keys are missing. Thankfully, you manage to negotiate these challenges and still get out the door in 45 minutes. Everyone is starving so you toss them a bag of old half melted Easter M&Ms that you found in the center console. You park and decide to leave everyone in the van and just run in yourself. Your 12-year-old locks the doors behind you and you enter the store, pick up five total items, and exit within four minutes and find your van surrounded by a SWAT team and several news media vans. Instantly, lights are on you and you’re thrown to the ground and charged with neglect and child endangerment. Your children are led tearfully from the van and your husband is forced to come home early, post bail and hire an attorney. YOU FAIL

#3 You feed everyone hard-boiled eggs and saltines then pack them into the van with promises of sour gummi worms if there’s no shenanigans at the store. You arrive at the store, cram as many children as possible into a car cart and then realize that in your haste you left your shopping list at home. You manage to grab the milk and other essentials and hopefully enough other food for the week. As you start checking out, your oldest reminds you that you forgot to pick up ketchup to use as blood in her diorama.

If you run back and pick up the ketchup, go onto to paragraph #4.

If you decide to forget the ketchup and just use the red tempera paint you have at home, go onto paragraph #5. 

#4 Taking just the youngest child in arms, you sprint for the condiments aisle. You reach for the store brand jumbo sized bottle when the babe reaches out, grabs a smaller bottle and manages to deposit its entire contents down your front. You scream in anger and turn to quickly run back to the check out, when a well-meaning gentleman with bad eyesight assumes you’ve been attacked and runs up to you, pushes you and your child to the ground and attempts to administer first aid. Pretty soon most of the store has crowded around to witness you trying to push this stranger from your arms while convincing everyone that you and your baby are not bleeding to death. Having been abandoned at the check out for almost a full ten minutes at this point, your oldest attempts to make a break for the van with all the kids and the groceries and is stopped for shoplifting. Your husband is forced to come home early, post bail and hire and attorney. YOU FAIL

#5 “Honey, we’ll use the red paint we have at home. We’ll just have to be really careful because it’s not washable,” you mutter while staring at the conveyor belt and wondering how you can discreetly discard three boxes of Count Chocula. Then you notice you forgot the gummi worms so you declare late night TV and Count Chocula for everyone! Once you’re home, the groceries are away and the kids are snacking you start pulling out art supplies to help give your daughter a head start on her project. The phone rings and it’s your mother.

If you roll your eyes, shame on you. Go to paragraph #6

If you pick up with out thinking, go to paragraph #7. 

#6 You let out a long sigh and decide to let it go to voice mail. Just then, a loud shriek sends chills down your spine. “Oh no,” you think. “Did the kids remember to feed the Yeti today?” Of course they didn’t and there he is standing in your kitchen, looking mad with hunger. He eats you in his rage and your husband is forced to come home early, kill the family Yeti and begin a new life alone. YOU FAIL

#7 “Hi Mom. What’s up?”, you ask, distracted by the lightness of the red paint bottle in your hand. “You’ll never believe it!” She screams so loud the kids hear and come running to the phone. “I’ve won the lottery!” She adds hysterically, “And I’m buying you and your siblings new houses, maids, private tutors for the kids and setting y’all up with trust funds for life!” You laugh and share the good news with the kids and you all commence dancing. Your husband quits his miserable job, comes home early and you pay someone to complete the CCD diorama for your child. YOU WIN

The moral of the story; don’t roll your eyes at your mother. 



  1. O yea I read all of those and btw yours is of a much higher literary content and style than the originals! One of mine read a couple of them that I found at a garage sale…but maybe the digital age just doesnt love adventure like we did! *Family YETI*

  2. Why IS it that kids today don’t love CYOA books the way I did??? It’s so economical – like 5 stories in one small book!! Anyway, thanks for the reminder to always feed the Yeti.

  3. I am a school librarian and we have “interactive history adventure” books. Basically CYOA but in historical times. Helped one of my students find Ancient Greece today. Fun stuff 🙂

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